The World Cup is over, and it was pretty rough on Brazil. Not only did their national team face what was almost certainly its most embarrassing defeat in history, but the event was marred by protests, and the country is now saddled with a number of stadiums in places that don’t have teams big enough to support them.
The good news is that, even though FIFA pretty much just leaves a path of destruction wherever they go, the soccer players don’t. Mesut Özil, a midfielder for the victorious German team, is donating part of the 300,000 euro bonus he received for winning the World Cup to pay for surgeries for 23 Brazilian children.
Özil isn’t the only footballer to donate World Cup winnings to charitable causes. The Argentine team, which came in second place, is donating $135,000 to a pediatric hospital in Buenos Aires through Argentine star Lionel Messi’s charity. Messi, who won the Golden Ball in the 2014 World Cup (given to the tournament’s best player), has supported the hospital in the past.
So if there are any Americans out there who are now hooked on soccer thanks to the 2014 World Cup and are looking for European teams to support, here’s a good start: Özil plays for Arsenal in England, and Messi plays for Barcelona.